Saturday, May 29, 2010

狂言 (Kyogen) by brilliant Czech actors

After the concert by Daniel Forro and Sakura Ensemble, people gathered in the hallway and watched this brilliant act by two Czech guys doing Kyogen (狂言). Kyogen is a form of traditional Japanese theater. It is a comedy and typically played during the intermission of Noh acts. Kyogen acts are usually short and are played by two or three actors. Unlike Noh or Kabuki, the key ingrediant of Kyogen is a dialogue and rather exaggerated movements and actions (like very exaggerated way of laughing). The story is very simple, but with the combination of exaggerated acting, it becomes quite funny.

Those Czech guys were just so brilliant. The skit they played is called "柿山伏 (Kaki Yamabushi)," one of the famous Kyogen acts. The story is about a farm owner and 山伏 (Yamabushi), a Japanese ascetic hermit who lives in the mountain and is also said to be a warrior with supernatural powers.

One day, the Yamabushi wandered into a farm land looking for something to eat. Then he found a tree of persimmon (柿, Kaki). He tried to make the persimmons drop by throwing rocks at the tree but failed to do that. So, he climbed up to tree and started to eat persimmons one after another. Then, the owner of the farm came out and found out that someone was up on the tree eating his persimmons. He decided to tease him by faking to misunderstand the Yamabushi as something else. The Yamabushi would mimick anything he would say, like a bird, monkey, or dog. At the end, the Yamabushi ended up jumping off the tree when the owner says that it would fly if it was a bird. The Yamabushi hurts himself, and asked the owner to take him into his house and take care of him. The flabbergasted owner tries to leave, but the Yamabushi, who has supernatural powers, casts a spell so that the owner cannot leave. The Yamabushi tries to attack the owner, but he gets away, and the crippled Yamabushi ties to chase him as they walk away from the stage.

Here is a part of the acts by Czech guys. Not well taken but you would get an idea :)

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